Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Friday, November 09, 2007


I will never understand the Minnesotan fascination with snow. It is just white frozen water. Its beautiful, they tell me. I am not convinced. All it takes is one person to walk across it, and the pristine purity of the dreadful stuff gives way to the much more practical realization that it is cold, wet, and has a tendency to stick to your shoes when entering a building, thus creating slip hazards and the potential for wet feet when not wearing shoes.

For some, I am told, snow has a nostalgic value. They are put in mind of childhood sledding days, hot chocolate, and novels read in front of the fire. This is not my experience. I am reminded, rather, of hurried efforts to bring cattle to more protected pastures, calves freezing on the ground, and one too many trips made between town and home on slippery roads whose icy reflections seemed to mirror the anxiety ridden silence inside the vehicle.

"Snow represents peacefulness and purity," they say. Nonsense. Snow means backbreaking work. "It is pretty," they say. "Until they plow it," I respond.

"You're in the wrong state," they tell me. "I don't intend to stay," I return.

In case you missed it, I don't like snow. Nevertheless, as I sat in class this morning and a few large white flakes began to drift down, I couldn't help but become mesmerized by them. It was brief, perhaps ten minutes, and then they were gone. But they were beautiful.


mom said...


Gregory. said...


Your post evidences the fact that growing up with snow is not your experience. Childhood days of racing my brothers and sister down the hill on a sled next to our house, tunneling into the snow bank that is as high as the eaves on our roof behind our house, warming up after a day in the snow by drinking apple cider which mom simmered on the stove with sticks of cinnamon in it, listening to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol while sitting together in the warmth emanating from not just "the fire" but from the crackling, roaring, blazing fire--indeed, this is not your experience.

Nevertheless, soak it up as much as you can.

Jinglebob said...

I wholeheartedly agree.

Maybe if those who love snow had to care for lives that can be lost in it, day after day, they also would view it differently.

And Gregory, while you were playing in the stuff, Tyler was going through backbreaking, heart wrenching work, because of it. Might be why he and I look at it differently.

Tho' I remember him having fun sledding in it also. but the bad over did the good of it.

It's pretty easy to like snow when you can get away from it as you please. Quite another when you have to put up and fight it day after endless day, taking care of God's creatures.

Jodi said...

I have to agree with you as well Tyler. I don't mind it as much now that I don't have to travel and can usually just sit in the nice warm house or play with the kids in it, then go in the house when I want. I've been looking for a winter sport to enjoy since it is about half of the year, but haven't found one yet.

J. Thorp said...

Could it be that all three of you are right? Could it be that a thing of such exquisite beauty and peacefulness could also be a source of back-breaking work, heart-ache, discomfort and danger? Could it be that a single thing could provide sustainance and bring your world crashing down in an instant?

Sounds like children. And God, come to think of it ...

Adoro te Devote said...

Welcome to yet another paradox. Just as water in liquid form lends to life itself, so is it also so destructive that little (if anything) can stand against it. And in super-heated form...fogeddabodit!

And just as a pristine mountain is beautiful, when it falls upon you in an earthquake or a mudslide, or is consumed in a raging forest fire...what do you think if it then?

Fine if you dislike snow...but then you'd better take a hard look at those elements and climates you DO like...and step back to see the destructive properties of even that in this fallen world we inhabit.

Let me give you another perspective; I've always loved winter, always dreamed of skiing, and when I was about 24 or so, I joined a ski patrol. (And that's where I learned to ski. God's grace, hard work, and LOTS of help of generous souls!). And I realized another dream...racing. Loved it! Because snow is meant to be played in by people of all ages.

But for the last several years, because I worked in auto insurance in claims, snow made my stomach turn into knots. I literally felt sick. Although fender-benders were not my speciality, my unit was forced to take on the work of those units during and after a snowstorm, no matter how insane our workload already was! And so whenver flakes, fell from the sky, rather than dreaming of skiing, I had nightmares about work (which I hated to begin with)

This will be the first winter in FIVE YEARS that I will be able to appreciate. Now when I see that snow is coming, I will of course dread my commute to work...but at least once I'm at work I won't have to drive again until I go home. And I won't have to spend hours in line at impound to look at a scratch on a bumper, while missing calls and work with customers in more dire straits, etc etc.

This year, I'm EXCITED about winter, and you know what? Although I'm in my 30's, this year during the first snowfall, if there's enough, I am goign to go outside into my yard and I'm going to make SNOW ANGELS just as I did as a child.

Because I can't think of any greater praise to God in that circumstance, any greater thanksgiving for getting me out of that job, than to play in the snow like a child.

So try it sometime. No, it's not dignified. But the indignity of being childlike will open your eyes to something you've never seen before, and it'll make you love God even more deeply.

OR...you can disregard all of this as the musings of an insane woman. You choose...


Tyler said...

Sometimes I am amazed at the posts that generate the most conversation. This is one of them. I would never have thought that my musings on the first flakes of winter and the fact that were rather lovely (in a small dose) would have prompted such discussion.

Adoro te Devote said...

Well, you're in Minnesota...snow DOES tend to start discussions of some form.

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